BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, POOR RICHARD’S ALMANAC…(The Bible’s Impact on Literature [August 13])

What do you think of when you hear the word almanac? What do you think of when you hear Benjamin Franklin? Would you realize that Poor Richard was Benjamin Franklin’s pseudonym. What comes to mind when you hear the name Poor Richard? What type of information or wisdom do you think would come from such a book and such a character? What motivation or source would be used for such a book? What topics could get covered in such a book?

Today’s reading comes to us from Proverbs 20

1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
2 The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.
3 It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife,
but every fool will be quarreling.
4 The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;
he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
5 The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water,
but a man of understanding will draw it out.
6 Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,
but a faithful man who can find?
7 The righteous who walks in his integrity—
blessed are his children after him!
8 A king who sits on the throne of judgment
winnows all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, “I have made my heart pure;
I am clean from my sin”?
10 Unequal weights and unequal measures
are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
11 Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
the Lord has made them both.
13 Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;
open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
14 “Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
but when he goes away, then he boasts.
15 There is gold and abundance of costly stones,
but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
16 Take a man’s garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners.
17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
18 Plans are established by counsel;
by wise guidance wage war.
19 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.
20 If one curses his father or his mother,
his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.
21 An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning
will not be blessed in the end.
22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.
23 Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord,
and false scales are not good.
24 A man’s steps are from the Lord;
how then can man understand his way?
25 It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
and to reflect only after making vows.
26 A wise king winnows the wicked
and drives the wheel over them.
27 The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord,
searching all his innermost parts.
28 Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king,
and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.
29 The glory of young men is their strength,
but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
strokes make clean the innermost parts.

–from Proverbs 20

Where does your insight and wisdom come from? Where do you turn for insight and wisdom when faced with a challenge? What will help you persevere? How will you be able to face trials and troubles? You realize that in this world you will have troubles right? Will you be able to consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds? Are you focusing on the now or the future? Are you keeping your eyes on the things of this world or on the Lord? Consider David who kept his eyes on God when he faced Goliath. Manly wisdom would keep you from accomplishing all that God has planned for you. Godly wisdom will lead and guide you, comfort and encourage you, transform and heal you. So what will you do and how will you choose to live out the rest of your life?

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Bible’s impact on literature brings us the topic of Benjamin Franklin and his writing of Poor Richard’s Almanack. We read and learn how Benjamin Franklin wrote “Poor Richard’s Alamanack” from 1733 to 1758. In it he delivered witty and homespun wisdom about various topics “from money to gender relations, business practices to religious practices.” He drew extensively from the wisdom of the Bible in his writing and in particular the book of Proverbs.  We see from today’s reading how he drew from Proverbs 20:13

Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread. –from Proverbs 20:13

when he wrote “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

It is amazing when you consider the source of many words of wisdom and how they point us back to God. So now when you are facing a big decision, where will you turn?

Let’s pray…

Sample Sinners Prayer

For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything in it. I thank You for the safe travel and favor. I thank You for all the re-connections you helped me to make today and to shine for You. Help me Lord to be salt and light to bring Your joy into every situation. Help me Lord to bring Your wisdom into conversations, situations, and decisions. With You all things are possible and so I thank You and ask Lord that You will help me to live out this day in a way to bring You praise, honor, and glory, in Jesus’s name. Amen.

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